Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Review - The Rack

Of late I had been following Back 2 Base-ix on facebook as they built up for the launch of their new hobby desk organising system, The Rack. Its safe to say I was suitably impressed by the previews to purchase a small set on launch.

Back 2 Base-ix offer the system in Acrylic with a large selection of colours, ranging from solid black and whites to transparent floresent greens and yellows, or in plain MDF for the more price conscious. The coloured options allow you to mix any two colours to make up the components if desired.

I went for the acrylic version, ordering a set with black base and clear shelves, mainly to not obscure any colours on the shelves and to help give a strong contrast to the colours with the black base.

This was not my first purchase from Back 2 Base-ix having used them frequently for their excellent deals on MDF movement trays. I've conveted over most of my forces to the Mag-Flex sets which included flexible metal sheets and magnets for a very reasonable price. Infact these guys seam to go out of their way to please their customers, to the point I made a simple inquiry on facebook and they responded within a day by having a product on their website ready to order.

The package arrived in good time (It only had to come from Adelaide, Australia) and was well sealed costing about $25 for courier. Far more reasonable that the rort we get taxed for American shipping.

Items came all bubble wrapped. The flatmate will be kept well amused...

Each piece is individually sealed with all components 

All the parts laid out. Each piece of acrylic has a protective film on both sides that needs to be pealed off. Pictured here on the right is parts with the film removed, and to the left with the film still on. I found the clear acrylic to be the most difficult, as one side was frosted film and the other clear. It was very difficult to get the clear film started to peal, however once started was easy to get off. I pre assembled all the screw and washer sets and put the magnets aside.

Back 2 Base-ix have made you-tube videos for all the racks assembly, making it very simple to assemble. i watched a few of them before I ordered which helped make my purchase decision, but did not use them for assembly as the process was very straight forward.

Assembly is very straight forward, requiring only a small phillips head screw driver and your fingers. The system uses a series of screws, nuts and washers for assembly. I tried using a spanner to tighten the nuts on the screws at first, however it is to easy to overtighten them and break the plastic. I recommend using fingures to hold the nuts whilest carfully tighteing the screws in place. The system itself is a bit fiddly and would have liked to see some sort of snap lock or clip system.

Pictured here is the first shelf assembled. You need to remove all the protective film first before final assembly or you will be left with bits of film around all the screws and fittings. Each shelf has a set of locator lugs on the frame to keep it in place for the screws. I found all parts lined up perfectly and had no spacing issues.

Below are pictures of each shelf going on. I went bottom up as the screws are partially hidden byt the next shel up as you build.

The top shelf in this section is dedicated to being a paint brush holder. I found the pre-drilled holes to small for the majority of my brushes, only fitting my Raphael Miniture series. This is however resolved on the larger straight section (not pictured) with drawers. I would have liked to see and option to choose hole diameter as not even the GW brushes will fit.

Little rubber feet are supplied which help give clearence to the screws protruding on the bottom and stop the item from slipping around on your desk.


Customer service: 10
Very fast response times, nothing seams to be a problem. Friendly approach to all. Custom requests are met without issue.
Packaging/Shipping: 9
Well packaged, the pictures say all. Protecive film is a pain to get off when it is clear. Fast delivery time.
Quality: 10
Lasercut acrylic fits perfect every time. All parts supplied. Magnets to join adjacent sections together great idea. Great colour selection (acrylic only)
Assembly: 7
Step by step videos make life simple. Locator lugs on parts make assembly easy. Screw/nut assembly fiddly and prone to cracking the joints if over tightened or miss-aligned. As mentioned a clip system might be more desirable.
Price: 7
Price can add up quickly, especially if you have a large paint selection. Each section is from $30-$50+ each (NZD), and i would expect most people would purchase about 3 sections to meet their needs. Means less plastic krak! MDF gives a more price conceious option however (but not as shiney). Frieght very was reasonable. Would be nice to see a package deal for sets (which I hear they are looking at already).

Overall: 8.6/10
A great product overall, has helped turn my desk from the warzone it was into a organised work factory. Now all I need is more racks to shelve the rest of my paints as I dont even have half of my paints displayed...

The finished product, complete with mess


  1. Ahh not my first thoughts of racks :) How many paints have you got mate, wow! That plasticrack rack is pretty shiny though.

  2. Unfortunately, that is not even half of them... I've ordered another few modules to expand what I have.
    Now to find motivation to actually paint something

  3. Custom built my own rack out of mdf that I've been very happy with. There are NEVER enough slots or space for paints - but what I tend to do is just have the paints on the rack that I am using for the current project. Packing the others away on a separate/different kind of rack in my cupboard helps preserve the paint shelf life (esp in regards to GW paints *mutters*) and means I can see at a glance what I have or don't have.

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